About the People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel and how you could get involved

Posted 02/11/2021 by Sarah Nalden

 Aidan Grimsley

Aidan Grimsley, Portfolio Manager – Skills and Careers Unit, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) tells us more about the key role that BBSRC's Strategic Advisory Panels (SAPs) play in research

Membership recruitment call currently open for panel subgroup

At BBSRC we create panels of experts who provide strategic advice on key areas in the biosciences. These Strategy Advisory Panels (SAPs) contain expertise from across the bioscience research sector including academia, private businesses, learned societies and broader society. We’re advised by five SAPs, each covering a different strategic priority area:

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food SAP
  • Renewable Resources and Clean Growth SAP
  • Integrated Understanding of Health SAP
  • Transformative Technologies SAP
  • People and Talent (PAT) SAP

Each SAP is crucial in assisting with the development of research and innovation policies and strategies within their individual remit. This includes providing horizon scanning to identify emerging opportunities or shortages, the need for strategic interventions, constructively challenging our developing policies and monitoring the impact of ongoing investments.

The People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel (PAT SAP) provide advice relating to skills requirements within the biosciences. This could include, for example, assessing the talent ecosystem to ensure skills needs are addressed, perhaps through developing appropriate postgraduate training or encouraging the professional development of researchers. PAT SAP also offer advice relating to research culture, such as the recognition of diverse research careers, or the equality and inclusivity of the bioscience research sector.

Working alongside PAT SAP is our PAT SAP Researcher Subgroup (PAT SAP RS), which is uniquely positioned to provide a researcher-specific outlook on strategies and issues within the people and talent remit. This group consists of researchers post-PhD (or equivalent) that are yet to establish an independent research group. We aim to have a membership that is representative of the greater bioscience research sector, drawing on diverse expertise from across bioscience disciplines and a variety of research organisations, institutes, and businesses throughout the UK.

PAT SAP RS have provided BBSRC with researcher-specific advice for a few years, covering topics including the development of UKRI’s Action Plans to address the Researcher Concordat and Technician Commitment, BBSRC’s implementation of these Action Plans, researcher mobility and collaboration opportunities (such as the development of Flexible Talent Mobility Accounts), the development of video guidance for BBSRC fellowship applicants, and many more.

The need for this strategic input is greater than ever, considering the changing landscape of the modern research environment including the publication of the R&D People and Culture strategy, new ways of working and emphasis on non-academic career pathways for researchers. The Subgroup provides the opportunity for researchers to be a voice for their community, helping shape BBSRC’s strategies and policies relating to researchers and influence future funding calls. As well as being an opportunity to shape BBSRC strategy the group provides the opportunity to network with other members of the RS and PAT SAP. It can also provide an insight into our decision-making processes and potentially help inform your career development.

Membership to PAT SAP RS is time-limited and therefore often being refreshed. A recruitment call is currently open. If you are interested in advising BBSRC on the development of our policies related to researchers, alongside building valuable panel experience to further your own career, then please feel free to seek more information on our website, or email: postdoc.researchers@bbsrc.ukri.org.